Poet and novelist Cherry (My Life with Dr. Joyce Brothers, 1990, etc.) makes a memorable first foray into nonfiction with this detailed chronicle of a long-distance, long-term love affair between her and prominent Latvian composer, Imant Kalnin. From their first meeting in Moscow in 1965, in the lobby of the Metropol Hotel, Cherry and Kalnin were virtually inseparable. Although forced apart by the end of Cherry's brief tour of the Soviet Union, they remained in touch through constant correspondence until time and distance wrought inevitable changes and each married someone else. Ten years later, a new chapter began when they realized their mistakes and decided to marry each other instead. Another short visit to the USSR brought a renewed intensity of feeling, but no marriage, as Kalnin's wife refused to give him a divorce and the authorities proved recalcitrant. Years of frustration followed, with intercepted mail, Soviet and American bureaucratic snarls of Kafkaesque dimensions, and KGB harassment, ending in the ruin of Kalnin's career and his being proclaimed a ``nonperson.'' Yet another meeting was made possible recently in New York through the blessings of perestroika and the generosity of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, but the time for marriage had passed. By turns a love story, travelogue, rhapsody, and metaphysical discourse, Kelly's lyrical (though occasionally flippant and banal) assessment gives clear expression to the incredible complexity of human affection thwarted by cold war realities.

Pub Date: April 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-8071-1620-3

Page Count: -

Publisher: Louisiana State Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1991

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.


New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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